There are times in life when its focus is not so clear. Even in what is, in comparison and by every measure, a well-ordered life, sometimes it isn’t as “hands-on,” as proactive or profound as it is automatic. Indeed, even when all seems right in the world - or at least in my world - the real essence of life almost becomes a dubious luxury. And then in the midst of it, when all is both fine and dandy, when everything is going just swimmingly, it hits me.
There is so much more.
I don’t want to sit here and devalue “the good life;” if anyone has reason to be grateful, it is I. The lack of chaos, the elimination of drama and the general peace in my life are all very much, and often, appreciated. It hasn’t been that long - I didn’t forget what it used to be like. But there are moments that make it clear that as good as everything is, there is way more and in my zest to acknowledge and appreciate all that has changed, there are the little things that make it all so much better.
Recently, I have been a solid presence in not one, not two, but all three of my boys’ lives. And as I have recently written here, at 23, 20 and 18, they are all legal adults now. I guess that it is true that I am always there and equally true that I have always tried to do my best by them, but right now - all at once - I feel as though my aid is being sought out, appreciated and needed. A small part is financial, but it’s not the money but what it is doing - and money is a very small piece of the picture. My kids are starting to become self-realized and it is my strength they are drawing from.
And in these past several days, in what is really only a series of moments, I have made a profound difference in their lives simply by being their father. It isn’t really about what I know, or some “Father Knows Best” wisdom, or that I might be able to get them over a financial hump… it’s about my being present in their lives. I am there no matter what and they know it. More importantly, I know it. And that is a very good feeling. It’s better than all the external validation in the world. There are only three men whose respect means so much to me - and they all call me Dad.